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Returning an item


You can return some items you purchased on eBay, depending on the seller's return policy. If you used same day delivery or free in-store pickup when you purchased your item and the seller accepts returns, return the item directly to the store where you purchased it.

Here's what to expect when you need to return an item.

Return an item

Before you request a return, check the seller's return policy in the listing for the seller's return period and other information.

To return an item for a refund, replacement, or exchange:
  1. Find the item in My eBay under Purchase History and select Return this item from the More actions drop-down menu.

  2. Select the reason for the return. Depending on the seller's return policy, we may put you in touch with the seller directly.

  3. If photos of the item would be helpful for documenting the condition of the item you bought and received, you can upload photos. Both eBay Customer Service and the seller can see them. You can upload as many as 10 photos (PNG, JPEG, BMP, or GIF; max size 5MB). You can add photos until the return process is closed. Uploaded photos can be removed only by contacting Customer Service.

  4. Depending on the seller's return policy, we'll provide you with a return shipping label and packing slip. Alternatively, we may ask you to wait for the seller to reach out to provide next steps for the return, such as in cases of oversized or heavy items or when sending an item back to a seller located in another country. The seller may also provide you their own return shipping label.

  5. Pack the item carefully. Include the packing slip, apply the shipping label, and send the item back to the seller. You must return the item within 5 business days of requesting the return. It's a good practice to include tracking information when returning an item.

  6. If an eBay-generated shipping label is used, you can track the status of the returned item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu.

  7. If the seller has provided their own label, such as including a label in the original shipment, you can track the status of the returned item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu. If the seller does not provide you a label through eBay and you return an item through an alternative shipping method, you should make sure that tracking is included in case eBay needs to step in to review the progress of your return.

  8. The seller refunds you within 6 business days of receiving the returned item. If you're requesting a new item as part of a replacement or exchange, you have 5 business days to ship the original item back to the seller once you agree to a replacement or exchange. Once the original item is shipped back, the seller will ship the new item to you within 5 business days.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Request a return by the time specified in the Return policy section of the listing.

  • If we ask you to contact the seller, work with the seller directly and follow their return instructions.

  • Otherwise, you're issued a return shipping label and packing slip. Then:

    • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the return when returning an item for a refund.

    • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the return when returning an item for a replacement or exchange. If you haven't sent the item back after 30 days, you're charged for the second item and the cost to ship it to you.

  • Return the item in the same condition as you received it. See the item condition policy for returns for more information.

  • If you're returning an item because it didn't match the listing description, the eBay Money Back Guarantee may be able to help. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Return shipping charges

Either you or the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, depending on the seller's return policy and the reason for the return. In most cases, sellers require that buyers pay for return shipping, but some sellers offer free return shipping—check the Return policy section of the listing. If you're returning an item because it isn't as described in the listing, the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, regardless of the seller's return policy. 

When you're responsible for return shipping charges, we charge your PayPal account if you ship the item using our shipping label. We may ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorize payment for these kinds of charges. 

When you want to return an item using alternative shipping arrangements, and the seller is responsible for the return shipping charges, you must work with the seller to agree on the shipping service and cost before returning the item.

Return shipping charges when using eBay shipping labels

Anytime you use an eBay return shipping label, returns are shipped by either USPS First-Class or Priority Mail, depending on the item's cost, package weight, and delivery time.

In some instances, return shipping charges may not be based on the actual weight of the package, but are an estimate. These charges are based on rates eBay negotiated with the USPS and are typically less than what you would pay at the post office for the same item. If you've used an eBay generated label for the outbound shipping, the cost of the return shipping label will never exceed this amount.

Refunds

Most refunds are automatically adjusted for any applicable restocking fees or shipping charges.

When the item isn't as described: 

If you return an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund is:

Total purchase price plus original shipping equals total refund

In these situations, the seller can't charge a restocking fee and the seller pays the return shipping charges.

All other returns:

If you return an item for any other reason, including changing your mind about a purchase, the seller can keep any restocking fee specified in the listing Return policy.

In these situations, your original shipping charge usually isn't refunded. Check the listing Return policy for specifics on shipping charges. You may also have to pay the return shipping charges.

For this type of return, your refund is usually the total purchase price, including item cost, sales tax, and other charges, less:

  • Original shipping (unless specified otherwise in the listing Return policy)

  • Restocking fee (if specified in the listing Return policy)

  • Return shipping (if specified in the listing Return policy)

When to ask us to step in and help

Most returns and refunds go smoothly, but if a seller doesn't issue you a refund, you can ask us to step in and help. Depending on the seller's return method, timelines may differ. We guide you to the correct timing as part of your return request in My eBay, but for reference:

  • You can ask us to step in and help if the seller doesn't issue a refund within 6 business days of receiving the returned item, or within 6 business days of the estimated delivery date for the returned item if no tracking is used. You have 10 business days to ask us to step in and help after the seller's time to issue a refund has passed.

  • If a seller doesn't respond to your return request, you can ask us to step in and help 3 business days after you request a return.

If you use alternative shipping arrangements, return shipping charges won't be included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refunds, even if the seller agreed to pay return shipping charges. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Replacements and exchanges

Some sellers may offer you the option of returning an item for a replacement or exchange instead of a refund. A replacement is a new item that is exactly the same as the original item described in the listing. An exchange is a new item that is different than the original item described in the listing -- for example, a different size or color. An item being replaced or exchanged should be of comparable value to the original item.

You can request a replacement or exchange if:

  • The seller offers replacements or exchanges in the listing Return policy.

  • The total refund value of the original item is less than $250.00.

Things to keep in mind when requesting a replacement or exchange:

  • If you're requesting a replacement or exchange because the item wasn't as described in the listing, such as with a damaged part, the seller is responsible for the return shipping charges. See Return shipping charges.

  • If you're unable to return the item because it's unsafe to ship (such as a ruptured and leaking battery) or broken beyond repair, the eBay Money Back Guarantee can help. Learn more about getting started with the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • The seller ships the new item to you within 5 business days once you ship the original item back. You can track the progress of your new item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu.

  • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the replacement or exchange.

  • If you don't ship the original back to the seller within 30 days, you're charged for the cost of the new item.

  • If you send the original item back to the seller, and the seller doesn't send a new item, you can ask eBay to step in and help and we may treat the return as a refund.

When to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee

  • If you didn't receive a new item as part of a replacement or exchange, or you received your new item but still aren't satisfied, you have 10 days from either the day the new item was delivered to you, or the day the original was returned to the seller – whichever is latest – to ask us to step in and help.

  • If you use alternative shipping arrangements, return shipping charges aren't included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refunds, even if the seller agreed to pay return shipping charges.

Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Alternative return shipping arrangements

You may need to use alternative shipping arrangements when:   

Insurance isn't available for return shipments. If either you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, purchase your own return postage instead of using the return shipping label provided.
For each return requested through My eBay, we generally provide one return shipping label. If you find that you need multiple return shipping labels to ship multiple packages back to the seller, contact the seller to make alternate shipping arrangements for the packages.
An eBay return shipping label is only available for items within the USPS size and weight guidelines for the shipping service that's used.
If the package is outside of USPS guidelines, you need to make alternative shipping arrangements.
An eBay return shipping label isn't available if the expected shipping charges exceed the expected refund or the refund value of a replacement or exchange.
Contact the seller to agree on alternative shipping arrangements or, in the case of local pickup, a way of getting the item back to seller safely.

When the seller is responsible for return shipping charges and you need to make alternative shipping arrangements, contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. Make sure that you include the packing slip, tracking, and for items valued at $750 or more, signature confirmation.

When using alternative shipping arrangements, either you or the seller pays for return shipping charges.

Frequently asked questions

If you've missed the deadline to start a return, you can contact the seller to see if the seller is willing to accept a late return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
We ask that you ship back the item to the seller within 5 business days. If 6 business days have passed since you started a return for a refund, and you haven't sent the item yet, contact the seller to see if they're still willing to accept your return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
You can see the status of your return request in My eBay—we show you tracking details for the return package, let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller, and when you can expect your refund. If it's been 6 business days since the returned item was delivered to the seller and the seller hasn't refunded you, you can ask us to step in and help.
Important: If you shipped the item later than the seller's stated time frame, we don't require the seller to issue a refund.
You can see the status of both your return and the new item in My eBay. We show you tracking details for both the returned item and the seller's new item, and let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller and when the seller has shipped the replacement or exchange. If 5 business days have passed since you started the return and the seller hasn't shipped the new item to you, we treat the return as a refund.
Sellers can deduct a restocking fee for returned items. Sellers state any restocking fees in the Return policy section of the listing.
We typically allow a little extra time for delivery. After sufficient time has passed, and the seller still hasn't received your returned item, you can ask us to step in and help.
In most cases, sellers handle returns quickly and easily. However, you may want to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee in a few instances:
  • You're unable to return the item because it's unsafe to ship (such as a ruptured and leaking battery) or broken beyond repair.

  • You've already returned the item, but you and the seller aren't able to resolve a problem.

  • You've received a replacement or exchange, but you and the seller still aren't able to resolve a problem.

You have one opportunity to return an item or multiple items for each transaction, depending on the listing:
  • Lots, sets, and bundled items

    You have one opportunity to return the entire quantity of the sale. For example, you buy a 5-piece place setting of dinner ware, which includes a teacup, saucer, dinner plate, salad plate, and a bread plate.

    You have one opportunity to return the entire 5-piece place setting. You can't return a few pieces of the place setting, for instance, just the teacup and saucer. (To return one item of a set, contact the seller.)

  • Multi-quantity listings

    You have one opportunity to return any quantity of purchased items. For example, you buy T-shirts, and in the listing you select a quantity of 5.

    You can return any quantity of the 5 T-shirts, but you only have one opportunity to return items. For instance, if you return 2 of the 5 T-shirts, you can't return the remaining 3 later.

  • Items from multiple listings from the same seller

    You have one opportunity to return each item individually. For example, you buy 3 books from a single seller. The seller listed each book individually, but you paid for the books in a single step with eBay checkout.

    You need to return each book individually.

Contact the seller directly when you start your return request.
In some cases, before you can print the shipping label for your return, we may need to verify a few details with the seller. The label is printable within 3 business days.
When using an eBay shipping label, you can reprint a return shipping label, but you can only use one label. 
If a return requires multiple packages, work with the seller to make alternate shipping arrangements for either the remaining packages or for all of the packages.

Misuse of returns or the eBay Money Back Guarantee

If we determine that you've abused returns on eBay or the eBay Money Back Guarantee, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on buying and selling privileges and account suspension. Examples include:

  • Selecting an inaccurate reason for return.

  • Disregarding item conditions required for return.

  • Requesting an excessive amount of returns.

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